International travellers attending events in Thailand generated revenue of THB18,031 million during the first quarter of the fiscal year 2019 according to Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB.
In the report covering the first quarter October to December 2018 of the current fiscal year that ends 30 September 2019, TCEB president, Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, confirmed Thailand welcomed 241,407 high spending international MICE travellers.
Accommodation, food & beverage, and shopping topped the spending list.
“Of the four core segments making up MICE (meetings incentives, conventions and exhibitions), the exhibition sector demonstrated an outstanding performance with visitors increasing by 60.66%,” the TCEB president reported.
“The growth was supported by key factors including positive trends in the global economy, while MICE travellers continue to show confidence in Thailand reflecting the government’s efforts to stimulate business activities and travel sector,” he added.
Contributing factors that increased the revenue earned from the MICE industry in the first quarter included the waiver of the visa-on-arrival fee launched in November 2018 for 21 nationalities. Waiving the fee benefited travellers from China and India.
In addition, Thailand’s positive business climate supported an expansion of airline services between Thailand and destinations in ASEAN.
According to the latest statistics from TCEB, the top five markets for international MICE travellers to Thailand in Q1 were China (85,498), Laos (29,547), Malaysia (21,352), Indonesia (21,051) and Japan (19,205).
Asia contributed the most MICE visitors due to short air distances from key source markets and the abundance of competitively priced fares.
In terms of MICE events, there were 275 international MICE events held in Thailand during Q1, which included 37 meetings, 153 incentive events, 16 conventions, and 19 exhibitions.
Incentive events made up more than 50% of all international MICE events hosted in Thailand.
The report also showed that 82.18% of all events were held in the central region focusing on Bangkok, Pattaya, and Chonburi province.
Underscoring event hosting capabilities in key MICE cities was the highly successful implementation of the Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) certification that raised the quality of event services.
It interest in hosting events in other regions of the country is on the increase. Market share showed 9.09% of MICE events were held in South Thailand and 6.18% in the north. The improvement is due mainly to more direct airline routes to Phuket in the south and Chiang Mai in the north. This trend is expected to increase on the back of TCEB campaigns during the second to fourth quarter of the fiscal year.
The domestic MICE market continued to support economic growth and the distribution of earnings with 6,412,117 local MICE travellers. They generated THB 24,494 million in revenue. The top five domestic MICE destinations were Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket and Khon Kaen.
The TCEB president added that marketing promotions focused on the following three benchmarks.
TCEB provided support (through biddings and subsidies) to 119 of international MICE events organised in Thailand.
Supported events included the 2018 Sunhope Thailand Incentive Group attracting more than 10,000 delegates from China, the BNI Global Convention 2018 with more than 4,000 delegates (hosted for 30 years in the US, but successfully brought to Thailand for the first time in 2018) and Future Energy Asia 2018 that attracted more than 8,000 delegates.
Income Distribution to Local Communities
TCEB provided support and subsidies to nine new or established domestic events. The list included the 33rd Annual Academic Meeting of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists held in Chonburi Province, the RICE Expo 2018 in Roi Et Province, and the InDoi Festival held in Chiang Rai Province.
Supported by TCEB’s MICE City strategy the InDoi Festival promoted Chiang Rai as a city of learning for excellent service management and the centre of Royal projects in the northern region.
In addition, TCEB provided support for eight events enhancing MICE markets from the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries that included Prudential Life Insurance from Vietnam and Armo Fertilizer from Myanmar.
MICE Development through Innovation
TCEB organised the 7th Special Meeting on ASEAN MICE Venue Standards (AMVS) and the MICE Intelligence and Innovation Conference. The bureau also provided an airport fast-track “MICE Lane Service” for international MICE travellers who were attending 45 events in Thailand.
Through the bureau’s operational guideline that adheres to the government’s 20-Year National Strategy, key drivers are the Strategy 2 “Boosting Capacities and Competitiveness” and Strategy 6 “Maintaining balance and development of processes in the management of government affairs.”
TCEB’s core objective is to distribute MICE activities to five MICE Cities (Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen) plus encourage growth in second-tier cities.
“Under the bureau’s operational frameworks key projects are being implemented for the fiscal year 2019 that will ensure TCEB can reach out to target markets in all areas” said Mr Chiruit.
“TCEB is confident that Thailand will welcome 35,982,000 MICE travellers during the current fiscal year while generating MICE revenue of 221,500 million baht.
“Of those figures, we expect to see 1,320,000 international MICE travellers with projected revenue of 100,500 million baht and 34,662,000 domestic MICE travellers with projected revenue of 121,000 million baht,” he concluded.
Eight key projects
Creating MICE routes
TCEB is working closely with strategic partners including the Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA), the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), as well as MICE venue operators, to develop 25 MICE routes in five MICE cities and expand the initiative to five second-tier cities to establish 50 new MICE routes across the country.
Strengthening MICE education
Through “MICE Academic Cluster” projects, TCEB supports leading educational institutions in five regional clusters, namely Khon Kaen University, Chiang Mai University, Silpakorn University, Prince of Songkla University, and Dusit Thani College.
Managing MICE models
TCEB supports the development of business and operational plans for five MICE cities: Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Kon Kaen, through collaboration with provincial authorities, the government agencies, and MICE entrepreneurs.
Engaging with community projects
TCEB joins hands with the Cooperative Promotion Department to promote co-op centres as venues for MICE. Initially, TCEB selected 35 co-ops, but the project will ultimately expand to 100 co-ops across the country to generate greater local benefits and distribute income to local communities.
Building a competitive edge
The project enhances competitive marketing skills through TCEB’s partnership with educational institutions, university network and alliances from the private and social enterprise sectors.
Tapping a smart economy
Through marketing promotions, MICE events that focus on 10 target industries, identified in Thailand’s 4.0 policy are encouraged to host events in Thailand. Conducted through TCEB’s partnerships with public and private sectors both in Thailand and overseeing, projects involve the Royal Thai Embassies, Tourism Authority of Thailand, trade associations, federations, chambers of commerce and airlines such as Thai Airways International and Bangkok Airways.
Encouraging MICE Intelligence
TCEB has joined hands with key public and private organisations such as the National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) or NIA and the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture (OCAC).
Public hearings ensure openness and compliance with business practices when promoting the MICE industry. TCEB works closely with MICE entrepreneurs across the country.